CVRD fighting feral cats
A $10,000 boost in the Cowichan Valley Regional District's animal control budget will prevent thousands of feral kittens from being born over the next few years according to Cowichan Cat Rescue's Jean Hamilton.
The non-profit group was able to fix nearly 100 cats last year after it won a contest hosted by Pepsi Canada.
The win earned CCR $10,000 in prize money for a low-cost spay/neuter program but the program was put on hold when the funds were used up.
"Almost 100 cats belonging to people living below the poverty line were spayed or neutered under that program before the money ran out," Hamilton said recently.
"By far the great majority of the pet owners we have dealt with are responsible loving owners who simply do not have the money to get their cat fixed."
With the spay/neuter program hanging in the balance, regional district directors stepped in during budget talks, and bolstered the budget, breathing new life into the project.
"By adding this program to the animal control budget the CVRD is in the vanguard of local governments seeking a humane and cost-effective way to deal with the problem of cat over population," Hamilton said. "We do not think the CVRD will be disappointed by the results."
Hamilton said because Cowichan Cat Rescue pays no salaries or overheads, every penny of the CVRD money will be applied directly to the veterinary costs for spaying and neutering, while a small user fee paid by cat owners goes to cover vaccinations.
"As a result, thousands of kittens will not be born over the next few years and the experience of other jurisdictions shows that cat intake numbers at the shelters will soon start to drop," she said.
Anyone wanting to help with or donate to Cowichan Cat Rescue's programs can contact the charity through the website at www.cowichancatrescue.org, by telephone at 250-743-6500, or at the CCR Facebook page.